Wellington, Florida – For the second day in a row, it was Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Brighton that stood in the winner’s circle following their win in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII held Thursday, March 3, at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
The eighth week of competition at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival is CSIO4* Nations’ Cup week, bringing together teams from around the world to compete for the coveted $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup on Friday night, March 4. Foster of North Vancouver, BC, who will be riding as a member of the Canadian Team in the Nations’ Cup, and Brighton won Wednesday’s $5,000 Carolex Stables CSIO Welcome before returning to the international ring on Thursday to claim the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII.
Held as a speed competition, Foster was chasing the leading time of 61.36 seconds set by two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden riding Vanilla. With tight turns and sheer foot speed, Foster managed to shave a tenth of a second off of Madden’s time, racing home in 61.26 seconds to seal the victory.
“He is awesome,” said Foster of the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contender II x Quick Star) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms and Eric Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. “He is a really cool horse because he only likes to go at speed; last night I was not really even trying to go fast. I just went along at his speed and that was enough to win. Today, I was at speed and he was just awesome.
“I got him as a seven-year-old and he is ten now, we have just been slowly producing him,” continued Foster, 31, speaking about Brighton’s development. “He has always been a very competitive horse. This is his first big class that he has won, but he is always up there. He is very consistent and he very often goes clear. This is the first time I have really put the jets on and he really rose to the occasion. It is very exciting for the future.”
It was Foster’s turn to step into the spotlight during week eight as Lamaze, her 2015 Pan American Games gold medal teammate and fellow Artisan Farms rider, has dominated the WEF Challenge Cup Series so far this season. The 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion has taken four victories with three different horses, all owned by Artisan Farms in partnership with Torrey Pines Stable. “Normally the WEF [Challenge Cup] is Eric’s class, so at least we are keeping it in the Artisan family,” laughed Foster.
As Foster was wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves on her way to victory, she was awarded a $3,000 bonus as part of the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. “I think it’s a great thing that SSG does; I am very appreciative,” said Foster after being presented with $3,000 in recognition of her loyalty to the Canadian glove manufacturer. “I always ride with SSG Gloves anyway, so being eligible for the bonus doesn’t require any extra work from me. I don’t really like the feeling of gloves, and these ones don’t feel like you are wearing anything. They are also very flexible in the knuckle area, which I like.”
In addition to taking the win and being awarded the SSG Gloves $3,000 bonus, Foster was also the recipient of the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman.
Foster will tack up Victor for owner Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable in Friday night’s $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup, riding alongside Lamaze, Kara Chad, 20, of Calgary, AB, and Elizabeth Gingras, 34, of Edmonton, AB. Canada has won the Nations’ Cup event in Wellington, FL, a total of six times in the event’s 14-year history with its last victory coming in 2014.
Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival.